The full University of California Board of Regents implemented two initiatives yesterday designed to ensure equal access to an affordable UC education.

The regents unanimously approved UC President Mark G. Yudof’s financial aid program, which will provide scholarship and grant assistance sufficient to cover all systemwide fees for students with household incomes below $60,000. The Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan will provide financial aid for an estimated 48,100 eligible California students and cost approximately $355 million. Previously established sources of aid such as Cal Grants will cover the majority of the tab; however, the remaining $3.1 million will be footed by the UC.

According to Yudof, the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan will reassure low-income students they have a place at the UC.

“This plan is intended not only to make our financial aid message clearer, but to encourage more low-income students to apply to the University of California,” Yudof said in a press release. “There is no better time than during this period of economic hardship to reassure families and students that UC is financially accessible. The Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan sends a simple but powerful message to these families that the University of California is committed to helping them cover the cost of a college education.”

The second item implemented by the board of regents eliminated the SAT II Subject Test from freshmen eligibility requirements. The UC predicts 29,346 more potential applicants will be rendered eligible for admission under the new plan. The initiative will go into effect for the incoming class of 2012.

Students seeking entrance to the UC will still be required to complete mandatory A-G courses, maintain a 3.0 weighted and capped GPA and complete either the ACT with Writing or the ACT Reasoning Exam.